Using Google Trends to help future proof your business

When you are planning your content, do you consider whether your customers will be as interested in your product in a month a year, may be even three years time. It’s all too easy as a small business owner to loose site of the bigger picture and assume that the products and services we sell today will be as valuable to people in the future.  The consequences can make or break a business so having some understanding of future trends is critical.

Since 2004 Google has shared it’s data on trends through it’s Google Trends service (previously insights for search).

Google Trends Home Page

The process is simple, go to www.google.com/trends/, insert a keyword or phrase and you will be presented with a graph of popularity an upwards trend indicates an increase in popularity, downwards trends show declines and so on and so forth. 100 is the peak point on any search trend shows when it was most popular.

When it comes to keyword research for Google Adwords campaigns, blog articles, website content or planning a marketing video, using the Google Trends tool should be part and parcel of your armoury. We start by using the keyword planner tool in Adwords to define the keyword volumes then once we’ve found the terms that fit our criteria, we move to the trends to see how promising they are over the longer term. 

For example the recent popularity of infographics demonstrates an upward trend and therefore, not only a piece of content that is valuable in itself but also something that appears to have longevity.

There are other benefits to including the indication of seasonal trends. Below is the trend for the phrase “Garden Tools” in the UK you can clearly see the peaks during April and May would signal a Garden accessory company to boost the maximise the spend on there Adwords budget during these months.

There are however some trends that tell you next to nothing in many cases because they aren’t trends, or there is no obvious correlations (in fact trend is probably the wrong word to use in these cases. These tend to be with keywords and phrases with low search volume, so the longer the search term therefore the less searches and the greater the swings and the less obvious the pattern. See below with this search for flyer printing.

The value of trend analysis goes beyond simply keywords to strategic planning and marketing strategies. Predicting how your product will be searched is an art not a science but doing it always pays dividends.

Do you use Google Trends in your marketing and if so how?